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Contaminants in marine mammals - ME6028

Description
Evidence of the level of contamination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (and other chemicals of concern) in marine mammal populations was studied using tissue samples collected under the Cetaceans Stranding Investigation Program (Defra ME6008), to support decisions on elimination or mitigation activities for these chemicals. Research was broken down into three evidence areas: temporal trends of contaminants in harbour porpoises, exposure of other marine mammals species to contaminants (9 indicator species: killer whale, bottlenose dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, rissos dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, striped dolphin, grey seal and harbour seal), and mobilisation of contaminants from blubber reserves during starvation. The contaminants analysed were PCBs (25 individual congeners; banned under Stockholm Convention and requiring monitoring under OSPAR and MSFD), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, including PFOS, which is banned under Stockholm Convention), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, 11 individual congeners; banned under Stockholm Convention and requiring monitoring under OSPAR and MSFD) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD; regulated under Stockholm convention and requiring monitoring under OSPAR and MSFD).

Objective
The objectives of the project were:

1) to investigate recent temporal and spatial trends of PCBs, PFAS, PBDEs and HBCDD in UK harbour porpoises to see if elimination or mitigation activities were having an effect on environmental concentrations
2) to investigate levels of PCBs, PFAS, PBDEs and HBCDD in 9 indicator species (killer whale, bottlenose dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, rissos dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, striped dolphin, grey seal and harbour seal) to assess the risk of other marine mammal populations on exposure to these chemicals.
3) to investigate the distribution of PCBs between tissues to see if significant mobilisation of contaminants occurred during starvation or in heavily contaminated individuals
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2019

Cost: £130,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
C E F A S (CEFAS)
Keywords
Chemicals              
Marine              
Marine Mammels